As promised in my last post, I've discovered a few high-quality dry cat foods with relatively low carbohydrates that you can feed your cat if necessary.
I say "if necessary" because currently there are only two dry cat foods that don't have some form of bad carbohydrate in them. By bad I mean a carb with a high-glycemic index.
The Hidden Dangers of High-Glycemic Index Ingredients
The problem with high-glycemic index carbohydrates like corn and potatoes is the unhealthy rise in blood sugar they can cause. This increases the risk of obesity and diabetes.
To further explain, here is an excerpt from the book: Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M., that lays out the problem in detail:
"Although I had hoped that this product would be a satisfactory dry food option for my patients and my own cats, it has proved very disappointing in tests I have conducted. This food can promote obesity in spayed and neutered adult cats, just as its much higher carbohydrate dry food rivals do, and it cannot be used by diabetics. Feeding this food to a diabetic in remission causes a lapse out of remission." (emphasis mine)
"This food uses potato as its starch component for extrusion; apparently potato, with its simple sugar content and high glycemic index (corresponding rise in blood sugar), still causes the adverse effects in the cat that higher levels of less sugary carbohydrate ingredients do. Other "no cereal" dry foods containing novel starches like tapioca are in development. These foods will also fall far short of ideal foods for cats."
OK, that's the expert's take on dry foods. So, I leave it to you to decide if your cat should eat them. Considering that the average dry food, even "Science" blended dry foods, are over 30 percent carbohydrates with some exceeding 40 percent, these lower carb dry foods are definitely an improvement.
So, I figure in a pinch you can try feeding the best of them to your non-diabetic cat. When I say "in a pinch" I'm referring to times when you can't be there to feed wet food or if someone is watching your cat(s), but can't be there two or more times a day to do a canned food feeding.
The Three Dry Cat Foods That Are Lowest In Carbs:
Dry Food (1) - Innova Evo Turkey & Chicken Formula for Cats & Kittens.
- EVO has Hi-Protein, Low-Carbs, No Grains and NO high-glycemic-index potatoes or potato starch.
- EVO Cat and Kitten has the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE of poultry and dairy ingredients of any grain-free dry cat food!
- EVO Cat and Kitten contains 50% PROTEIN, 22% FAT, and only 7% CARBOHYDRATES, one of the lowest in the industry!
- This quality food includes whole, raw fruits and vegetables which contain health promoting phytochemicals and micronutrients.
Here are the main ingredients for Innova Evo Turkey & Chicken Formula for Cats & Kittens:
Chicken Meal, Chicken, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a Natural Source of Vitamin E), Peas, Eggs, Turkey Meal, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavors, Apples, Carrots, Cranberries, Herring Oil, Tomatoes, Pumpkin, Dried Chicory Root, Cottage Cheese, Alfalfa Sprouts, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Betaine Hydrochloride, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Beta Carotene, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Direct Fed Microbials (Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product)
Guaranteed Analysis and computed carbohydrates for Innova Evo Turkey & Chicken Formula:
|Innova Evo Turkey & Chicken||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Ash %||Total Guaranteed Analysis %||Calculated Carbs %||Actual Carbs (dry matter basis)|
* Estimated ash percent. (Ash content not provided by manufacturer.)
** As stated on the packaging
Dry Food (2) - Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original for Adult Cats & Kittens. This dry food contains about 12% carbohydrates because it unfortunately uses the high-glycemic index carbohydrate: potatoes, in its formula.
- Protein-Rich; No grains; Gluten-free
- Lower carbs. Only 12% of the calories coming from carbs.
- Incredible palatability
Here are the main ingredients for Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original:
Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Cranberries, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)],Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.
This is a naturally preserved product.
Guaranteed Analysis and computed carbohydrates for Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original:
|Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Ash %||Total Guaranteed Analysis %||Calculated Carbs %||Actual Carbs (dry matter basis)|
* Estimated ash content. (Ash content not provided by manufacturer.)
** As you can see, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original formula contains potatoes and claims a 12% carbohydrate content, which is more like 17.6% NFE.
NOTE: The carbohydrates for this determination are called the NFE, or Nitrogen Free Extract. Nitrogen Free Extract is basically what remains after the moisture, protein, fat, fiber, and minerals (ash) have been removed from the food. NFE = 100% - % moisture - % crude protein - % crude fat - % crude fiber - % ash.
Dry Food (3) - Young Again Zero Carb Cat Food and Young Again 50/22 Cat Food (Update: 2/23/2012)
New low carb cat food. These dry foods contain 0% carbohydrates(!!) and less than 5% carbohydrates respectively. The 50/22 variety, however, uses potato starch in its formula (a high-glycemic index carbohydrate - very bad for your diabetic cat), while the Zero Carb version is potato-free.
- To get an idea of the prices for Innova Evo Turkey & Chicken Formula for Cats & Kittens, you can check Google Shopping by clicking here.
- To price Wellness CORE Original (formerly called: Fish & Fowl) dry cat food, you can check Google Shopping by clicking here.
- Pricing for Young Again 50/22 Cat Food.
- Pricing for Young Again Zero Carb Cat Food.
Dry Food For Your Cat, Yes or No?
Remember, according to many veterinarians, no currently marketed dry food is good for your cat, but if necessary, you might try something similar to what we do with our cat.
Since Raja is not diabetic, just chubby, we feed her 99% canned foods from the lists in this blog. We feed her twice a day, once in the morning before leaving for work and once in the evening when we return.
Because we don't want to worry about Raja if we can't get home to feed her in the evening, we leave a small amount of Innova Evo Turkey & Chicken Formula dry food in a bowl next to her water bowl.
When I say "small amount" I mean very little. We just barely cover the bottom of a standard small cat dish, which ends up being about 20 kernels of food. The dry food is there ONLY if she gets hungry because we come home later than usual, it's NOT her main diet.
In fact, usually when we return home we find only a few chunks of the dry food have been eaten. Of course, Raja l-o-v-e-s her wet food, so she only eats the dry when she's really really hungry.
Your cat may act differently, especially if he/she is used to a dry food only diet. So try an amount that works for your pet but only as an add-on to a predominantly wet food diet.
And please, don't use ANY dry food if your cat is diabetic! (With the possible exception of Young Again Zero Carb Cat Food, since it has no carbs and very high-quality ingredients. NOTE: Check with your vet to be sure this dry food will be OK for your diabetic cat.)
Where To Find Innova Evo, Wellness CORE and Young Again Dry Cat Foods:
- Regular pet food stores like PetSmart and PetCo do not sell Innova EVO or Young Again. PetSmart is now carrying Wellness Core. You won't find these quality foods in grocery or discount stores.
- If you have a Pet Supplies Plus store near you they supply both Innova Evo and Wellness Core. Click here to see if there is a Pet Supplies Plus store in your area.
- Check your Yellow Pages for local pet supply stores in your area. If they don't stock these products they can order them for you.
- You can also find store locations for Innova Evo products (these are made by Natura) by clicking here and you can find stores selling Wellness CORE cat food by clicking here.
- Young Again Cat Food is only available on their website: http://youngagainpetfood.com/
Coming... I'm checking into some additional premium canned cat foods that are supposed to be based on high-quality meat and very low in carbohydrates.
I'll report my findings in my next blog entry.